Focusing on Kenya’s path-breaking mobile money project M-Pesa, this book examines and critiques the narratives and institutions of digital financial inclusion as a development strategy for gender equality, arguing for a politics of redistribution to guide future digital financial inclusion projects.
Economists like to base their theories on individual decision making. Individuals, the idea goes, have their own interests and preferences, and if we don’t include these in our theory we can’t be sure how people will react to changes in their economic circumstances and policy. While there may be social influences, in an important sense the buck stops with individuals. Understanding how individuals process information to come to decisions about their health, wealth and happiness is crucial. You can count me as someone who thinks that on the whole, this is quite a sensible view.
The piece describes some of the effects that Nixon's decision to delink the dollar from gold in the 1970s had for the relationship between the IMF and its member states. A focus is on the negative effects of this change on societies in the Global South.
This course focus on the behaviour of individuals from an pluralist economic and an interdisciplinary bevavioural science apprach.
As the Covid-19 fueled economic downturn begins to intensify this winter, an extended study of the Italian cooperative sector’s historical resilience in times of crisis can serve as a learning experience for other countries seeking to create policies that foster more stable economies, with job security, care for marginalized communities and adequate counter-cyclical policies. Particularly, the Italian cooperative sector’s contributions to three aspects should be noted in closing. Firstly, the innovative phenomenon of cooperative enterprises has contributed to social inclusion of immigrant communities, the activation of youth, the unemployed and people with disabilities, a true compensation for both a market and state failure. Secondly, they have contributed to a reduction in income and wealth inequalities at a time when the issue of inequality is of global significance. Thirdly, the Italian cooperative movement has helped local communities revitalize in the face of demographic shifts and rendered them more resilient to the ravages of globalization. Each of these in their own right is a remarkable achievement.
The last 15 years have seen extensive research into ecosystem service valuation (ESV), spurred by the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment in 2005 (Baveye, Baveye & Gowdy, 2016). Ecosystem services are defined as “the benefits people obtain from ecosystems” (Millenium Ecosystem Assessment, p.V). For example, ecosystems provide the service of sequestering carbon which helps regulate the climate. Valuation means giving ecosystems or their services a monetary price, for example researchers have estimated that the carbon sequestration services of the Mediterranean Sea is between 100 and 1500 million euros per year. The idea of ESV was a response to the overuse of natural resources and degradation of ecosystems, allegedly due to their undervaluation and exclusion from the monetary economy. ESV can be used (1) for policy decision-making, for example allocating funding to a reforestation project (2) for setting payments to people who increase ecosystem services, for example a farmer increasing the organic carbon content of their soil, and (3) for determining fees for people who degrade ecosystem services, for example a company that causes deforestation.
The most successful multialternative theories of decision making assume that people consider individual aspects of a choice and proceed via a process of elimination. Amos Tversky was one of the pioneers of this field, but modern decision theorists – most notably Neil Stewart – have moved things forward. At the current stage the theories are able to explain a number of strictly ‘irrational’ but reasonable quirks of human decision making, including various heuristics and biases. Not only this, but eye movements of participants strongly imply that the decision-making process depicted in the theories is an accurate one.
How do people make decisions? There is a class of models in psychology which seek to answer this question but have received scant attention in economics despite some clear empirical successes. In a previous post I discussed one of these, Decision by Sampling, and this post will look at another: the so-called Fast and Frugal heuristics pioneered by the German psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer. Here the individual seeks out sufficient information to make a reasonable decision. They are ‘fast’ because they do not require massive computational effort to make a decision so can be done in seconds, and they are ‘frugal’ because they use as little information as possible to make the decision effectively.
The authors discuss how identity affects economic outcomes by bringing together psychological and sociological perspectives and economics. For economic outcomes of a single individual, it might be interesting which kind of social groups this individual belongs to. This may influence individual daily decisions and hence economic outcomes. It can, however, not only affect individual economic outcomes but also economic outcomes of organizations, institutions and other groups. This paper describes these influences with respect to gender in the workplace, to the economics of poverty and social exclusion, and to the household division of labour.
When we have to make a decision, we consider all the pros and cons, try to gather a lot of information and estimate what consequences this decision might have. And then we make an (at least somewhat) rational decision. Or do we?
This study aims to provide insights on how the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) is contributing to the future of work.
As opposed to the conventional over-simplified assumption of self-interested individuals, strong evidence points towards the presence of heterogeneous other-regarding preferences in agents. Incorporating social preferences – specifically, trust and reciprocity - and recognizing the non-constancy of these preferences across individuals can help models better represent the reality.
Global Social Theory is a large wiki-like project by Gurminder K Bhambra. Its central aim is decolonising and diversifying universities, production of knowledge, and social thought in general. It represents a large online library divided into three parts: concepts, thinkers, and topics in/of social theory and decolonial thought. Every part comprises of short, introductory articles on an according theme. It may be helpful to give you a general overview (and a list of basic readings) on the most essential areas of social theory: caste, class, and race; civil society; racism; secularism; feminism and many others. It may also allow students whose university curriculum in sociology, economics, or other social sciences lacks diversity to compensate for that.
In the history of the social sciences, few individuals have exerted as much influence as has Jeremy Bentham. His attempt to become “the Newton of morals” has left a marked impression upon the methodology and form of analysis that social sciences like economics and political science have chosen as modus operandi.
In spite of the manifold critique about the state of economics in the aftermath of the financial crisis, an even increasing presence of economists and economic experts can be observed in the public sphere during the last years. On the one hand this reflects the still dominant position of economics in the social sciences as well as the sometimes ignorant attitude of economists towards findings of other social sciences. On the other hand this paper shows that the public debate on politico-economic issues among economists is dominated by a specific subgroup of economists, tightly connected to an institutional network of “German neoliberalism”. This group of “public economists” (i) is dominant in public debates even after the financial crisis, (ii) reproduces the formative German economic imaginary of the Social Market Economy in a German neoliberal interpretation and (iii) has a good access to German economic policymaking, rooted in a long history of economic policy advice.
This report presents the results of the “Financial Mechanisms for Innovative Social and Solidarity Economy Ecosystems” project, designed to foster a better understanding of the different ways in which financial resources can be made available and accessed to support the growth of social and solidarity economy (SSE) organizations and their ecosystems. The project is supported by the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social and Solidarity Economy of the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Stratification economics is defined as a systemic and empirically grounded approach to addressing intergroup inequality. Stratification economics integrates economics, sociology and social psychology to distinctively analyze inequality across groups that are socially differentiated, be it by race, ethnicity, gender, caste, sexuality, religion or any other social differentiation.
This groundbreaking collection explores the profound power of Social Reproduction Theory to deepen our understanding of everyday life under capitalism. It tackles issues such as child care, health care, education, family life and the roles of gender, race and sexuality, and shows how they are central to understanding the relationship between economic exploitation and social oppression. Including contributions by: Lise Vogel, Nancy Fraser, David McNally and Susan Ferguson.
Economics, Culture and Social Theory examines how culture has been neglected in economic theorising and considers how economics could benefit by incorporating ideas from social and cultural theory.
Esther Duflo discusses the fact that in social policy one cannot check the big questions, i.e. whether development assistance as an aggregate is helpful, because there is no counterfactual. She then suggests to focus on smaller questions such as what prevents or incentiveses people from immunizing their kids or whether mosquito bednets should be distributed for free. These questions can be answered by using randomized control trials as in the medical sciences. Thus, she argues, by bringing the experimental method to social policy analysis better decisions as to where allocate funds can be made.
As the current economic crisis spreads around the globe questions are being asked about what king of capitalist or post-capitalist economy will follow. There is increasing talk of the need for stringent economic regulation, the need to temper greed and individualism, to make the economy work for human and social development.
Thirty-years of economic transformation has turned China into one of the major players in the global capitalist economy. However, its economic growth has generated rising problems in inequality, alienation, and sustainability with the agrarian crises of the 1990s giving rise to real social outcry to the extent that they became the object of central government policy reformulations.
This edited volume put together by Jimi Adesina based on the proceedings of the Social Policy in African Conference in 2017 provides an overview of social policy in varied country contexts and fields especially in light of decades of the reduction in size and hollowing out of the content of …
Karl William Kapp (1910-1976) was one of the forefathers of Ecological Economics. Influenced namely by the Frankfurt School, Institutionalist Economics and Pragmatist Philosophy, he contributed to debates on the social costs of production, economic planning, sustainable development and epistemology. I
This course provides a simple introduction to problems that social scientists are working on (e.g. racial disparities, inequality and climate change) in a manner that does not require any prior background in Economics or Statistics.
Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) and Feminist Economics make a conjoint statement: The way we see the economic system has nothing to do with human beings nor those who have been surviving outside the market.
Behavioural economics deals with observing behaviour and economic decision making behaviour.
This is an immensely important book for any student of social theory interested in understanding the colonial roots of a lot of contemporary thinking From a post colonial perspective Gurminder Bhambra and John Holmwood unpack how the emergence of modern society in the context of European colonialism and empire impacted …
The productive work of widely distributed academic research has contributed substantially, over the postwar period, to important advances in our understanding. It has also offered a clearer recognition of many unresolved problems. Never theless, the progress achieved over the last decades, ex hibited by the systematic application of "theory" to actual issues and observable problems, could not overcome a per vasive sense of dissatisfaction.
What possibilities exist for a fairer world Can one person truly make a difference In this social sciences course we sample the possibilities and limits of social change in an interconnected inequitable global landscape This course features in depth examinations of the rise of garment work for Bangladeshi women a …
As part of a larger series on Just Transitions, the author describes how the current corona crisis comes with new economic policy responses which would have been considered unthinkable only a year ago. Arguing that with the current high levels of confidence in politicians and scientific advice, combined with the realisation that the market has not been able to solve this problem on its own, we are now in a unique position to implement a radically different solution than was politically possible previously.
South Africa’s taxi industry was established by black people in the 1930s and has faced numerous challenges, including those posed by decades of apartheid laws. Covid-19 has highlighted contemporary challenges facing the industry and has also raised questions about how it can keep ‘driving forward’. This podcast explores questions such as what changes need to be made, and who can be the ‘drivers’ of such change.